For the simpel reason that birds can fly into a window, through an open window or door, or land on stoves, to name some reasons. Clipping is very handy for training your parrot as well as it cannot fly away if he dislikes you training him. Another reason is that your bird cannot sit higher that you are, so that you stay in control.
How much do I have to clip?
A proper clip is one that allows your parrot to "fly" downward at a 45 degree angle. If you would clip your bird to heavily it might get injured from the fall. If it jumps down and cannot "fly" downward properly it might break its neck, so please don't overclip. Clipping is different for every bird species as some birds are very light built and others are more heavy built.
Birds should be clipped when their feathers have grown back enough. Watch out for bloodfeathers in not fully re-grown feathers as clipping these feathers is higly painful for your bird and might be fatal in some cases. These feathers can be described as feathers that are still encased in the wax-like karatin sheath. As long as you don't clip the coverts of feathers you can be sure you are clipping safely.
What and how do I clip?
If you practice regularly with stretching wings you can just stretch your parrot's wing and then clip without necessarily putting your parrot in a towel during clipping. If this doesn't work you might put your parrot in a towel regularly and offer treats, talking softly to it, showing him things around the house so that it doesn't associate the towel with something bad.
The only feathers that should be clipped are the primary flight feathers. They are the long feathers on the outermost part of the wing. I suggest you start on the outside at the 10th primary feather and then clip inwards.
Always test a clipping by gently tossing the bird on a bed or a couch from a distance of 2 foot. If you have clipped your bird right it should flutter down as described above.
Never clip the feathers on only one wing as your bird isn't able to find his balance properly then.
Clip these primary flight feathers so that the cut end is just under the major coverts. The coverts will surround the edges that are rough from clipping and thus you'll prevent them from irritating the skin.
If you are not sure about how to clip or never have anyone seen doing this, I suggest you leave clipping to a vet. This in order to prevent tragedies.
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